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Jeff_Birt

What input devices used the paddle, i.e. POT inputs?

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Quiz - What input devices used the paddle, i.e. POT inputs on the Atari or C64? Below is a list I have compiled with help from folks on Twitter.
 
This question came to mind after I spent a lot of time to characterize the input_resistance/byte_value curve of the A2D converter on the C64 SID (which is nonlinear, spoiler alert, and I suspect the POKEY POT inputs are equally nonlinear).
 
The exact response curve does not matter for paddles or mice as you are moving them in proportion to what you see on the screen. For a security dongle or the 'The Party Quiz Game' controllers it might make more a difference as they expect a certain resistance to result in a narrow range of readings from the SID.
 
Input devices that use POT input:
• Paddles
• The Party Quiz Game 4-button controllers
• Atari CX85 keypad (POT Y used as digital input)
o Cardco Cardkey Numeric Keypad clone of above
• Atari Video Touchpad (Atari 2600 for Star Raiders), can use on C64, etc.
• Commodore 1351 Mouse
• Koala Pad
• Mssiah (uses external pots for controls)
• Vaisala HAWS weather station
• Security dongles

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I was curious about trackballs, but apparently all (?) of them use pulsating digital signals to simulate analog movement instead of the pots, so oddly those don't belong on the list.

 

Since you list touchpads, I suppose the Kid's Computer Keyboard from Muppet Learning Keys belongs too, as I seem to recall it was Koala compatible in some way. But I can't tell for sure it is.

commodore-64-muppet-learning-keys-keyboa

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1 hour ago, carlsson said:

I was curious about trackballs, but apparently all (?) of them use pulsating digital signals to simulate analog movement instead of the pots, so oddly those don't belong on the list.

 

I just learned from someone on Facebook that the Atari CX80 track ball can use analog (mouse) or joystick (digital) modes. The Muppet keyboard in a new one though. I wonder if it was released for other systems as well?

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Posted (edited)

The Muppet one supposedly was supported on the C64, Apple II series (though different connection, I suppose) and possibly Atari 8-bit, at least electronically. It was developed by Christopher Cerf and Bill Prady with (at?) Koala Technologies and Sunburst Software.

Edited by carlsson

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Since the C64, Atari and Apple were made to accept very different paddle resistance ranges (470K, 1meg, 150K respectively) I suspect Koala Pad was configured to work with each device to get the maximum resolution. 

 

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Here is the new list:

 

Input devices that use POT input:

·         Paddles

·         The Party Quiz Game 4-button controllers

·         Atari CX85 keypad (POT Y used as digital input)

.         Cardco Cardkey Numeric Keypad clone of above

·         Atari CX80 track ball can use analog (mouse) or joystick (digital) modes

·         Atari driving controller

·         Atari Video Touchpad (Atari 2600 for Star Raiders), can use on C64, etc.

·         Atari Touch Tablet CX77

·         C64GS joystick (Cheetah Annihilator) uses POTX as digital input.

·         Commodore 1351 Mouse

·         Koala Pad

·         Mssiah (uses external pots for controls)

·         Vaisala HAWS weather station

·         Security dongles

·         Muppet learning keys, Kids Computer Keyboard

·         RCFS 64 Commodore 64 Dave Brown R/C Flight Simulator Dual Joystick

·         Suncom Animation Station

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As a modern implementation, there are many 2-button versions of games that have been hacked.  They use one of the POT lines on the 2600 as a digital input and are meant to be played with a Sega Genesis (or equivalent) gamepad.

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A bit strange that a device like the Amiga Joyboard was digital. Perhaps the mechanics and electronics would be too expensive to make it analog so it would react on exactly how much you leaned in either direction.

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